November 16, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Treasurer Cowell Reports Third Quarter Pension Fund Returns
RALEIGH – State Treasurer Janet Cowell reported today that North Carolina’s pension fund gained 4.46 percent for the quarter ending September 30, 2012, seeing positive returns in all asset classes. Pension fund assets were valued at $77.1 billion at the end of the quarter, up from $74.5 billion at the end of the fiscal year.
“It is encouraging to see positive returns and our Investments team has navigated tough markets well,” stated Cowell. “However, current markets remain volatile with the looming threat of the fiscal cliff and the next couple years hold challenges that will keep returns modest.”
The pension fund’s global equity (stock) portfolio gained 6.91 percent. Despite growing concerns over the fiscal cliff and a lag in the Eurozone, efforts by central banks to bolster global growth instilled confidence in investors and helped markets rally during the third quarter.
While an increased willingness to take risks bolstered the stock market, it led to modest gains for fixed income. The pension’s bond portfolio returned 2.73 percent for the quarter, down slightly from 3.44 percent in the second quarter.
Real estate earned 1.45 percent and the credit portfolio returned 3.62 percent for the quarter. The alternatives portfolio, composed mostly of private equity, gained 0.58 percent during the third quarter, while the inflation portfolio returned 6.09 percent.
The North Carolina Retirement Systems, the formal name for the pension fund, is the eleventh largest public pension fund in the country. It provides retirement benefits and savings for more than 875,000 North Carolinians, including teachers, state employees, firefighters, police officers and other public workers. For more information, visit www.nctreasurer.com